Fair Use and Copyright: Resources for Educators

Copyright law is complex and it has become more complicated with the advent of the Internet.  Added to this complexity is the fair use doctrine which allows educators to use copyrighted material in certain circumstances without infringing upon the copyright owner's rights.  To help answer many of the questions raised by publishing on the World Wide Web, this list of outstanding sites provides guidance and advice for educators.

  • Copyright and Fair Use Web Site
    The Stanford University Libraries site is authoritative.  Under the subject of 'Current Legislation, Cases and Issues' there is a comprehensive list of resources on fair use and multimedia.  The site also includes an exceptional bibliography of articles on copyright and fair use.

  • Copyright and Multimedia Law for Webbuilders and Multimedia Authors
    A superbly annotated list of links covering everything from the Copyright Website to the Digital Future Coalition and the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

  • Copyright in an Electronic Environment
    A solid document produced by the North Carolina Public Schools; based on the guidelines from the Consortium of College and University Media Centers.

  • Copyright in the Digital Age: A Guide for Educators by Robert E. Frazier
    In his opening paragraph, Frazier writes "as educators become more involved with the production of multimedia and WWW pages, the need to better understand copyright law is imperative."  In this very readable article he does provide information which leads to understanding, or at least to considering, the application of copyright law to the World Wide Web.  

  • The Copyright Website
    This site is logical and well-designed.  It includes: visual arts, audio arts, digital arts (includes web issues), basic information (includes fair use), and news.

  • Keeping It Legal: Questions Arising out of Web Site Management by Jamie McKenzie
    McKenzie is 'web-famous' for his From Now On site.  In this article he presents several cases which illustrate the complicated nature of fair use for educators and their students.  Although he does not offer any easy answers, there is lots to think about and debate. Also includes an interesting response to 'Keeping It Legal' by Ted Nellen in which he advocates that "it is our job to protect education and push the envelope of education and the Internet."



Updated by Allen Chamberlain, February 2003.